Open Roads Forum

Print  |  Close

Topic: Ford F150 5th wheel towing

Posted By: urb on 08/11/07 07:19pm

I am wanting to get into 5th wheel towing. I have not bought a truck or trailer yet. I would prefer to buy a Ford F150 pick up, but looking up the charts it would appear I would be safe if I restricted by trailer size to about 1700lbs hitch weight and 7000lbs dry weight of trailer, possibly max towing capability.
Are my numbers correct because this does not give you the option to go any bigger than about 26-28 foot.
So if their is anybody out there that uses a F150 what size of 5th wheel do you tow.
Thank you

Posted By: ronschamingjr on 08/11/07 07:31pm

I had a low-profile 27-foot Dutchmen I towed with a 99 F-150 5.4 liter eight cylinder. It was OK--but just barely. If where you travel is hilly or mountainous, I would seriously consider a larger truck. Remember too, that fivers are typically significantly heavier than a same-length trailer.

Posted By: bdonpap on 08/11/07 07:37pm

It really depends on where you're going to be towing, the weight of the 5er, etc. If I were you, and I had not yet bought the truck, I would go with a bigger truck. The joy of the ride will be better for you. When I bought my first 5er, a 28' light-weight, I had a Chevy 1500. I put air bags on it and made a few short trips, but immediately wished for a bigger truck. WTS, there are a lot of folks out there pulling with a F-150.

1998.5 Dodge CTD, QC, SB, Guages, EZ, Suncoast VB, Mag-Hytec DD pan
2003 KZ Sportsmen, 32' Triple Slide

Posted By: donhov on 08/11/07 07:38pm

You will find a few other posts about using a 1/2 ton to tow a 5er. Most 1/2 ton trucks are only capable of towing a very light 5er with a pin weight of less than 1000 lbs. Another problem unless you get one of the larger engines and 4.10 rear gears you find that the truck is very lacking in power for hills and medium grades. You will be limited to 27 feet of fiver or less and depending on weight probaly no more than 1 slide if that. I would consider at least a 3/4 ton truck bare mininum. Gas or diesel is another issue all it's own, a gasser with decent engine will do OK but if planing on a lot of towing, heavier trailer, and fair amoung of towing up & down steeper grades, then maybe a diesel or Hemi or V10 or like engine. Think GM has discontinued their large block gasser and only the 6.1 is available. Do some research, figure out how large of a 5er you want and what features you have to have, then get the weights, & then and only then figure what you need for a truck. That would be my suggestions.....From the tone of your post I'm thinking you might think that the 27' limit for a fiver might be a bit small??

2003 Cedar Creek 30RLBS
2007 Dodge 5.9 Cummins Turbo Diesel 325hp/610Tq
4x4 3.73 axles short bed
Inferno Red W/Gold pinstripping

Posted By: Gordon Ford on 08/11/07 08:45pm

Had a 4.8L F-150 which towed a 24ft Tahoe Lite 5er just fine. Then got present 5er which was over 80% of towing capacity. Then after one mountain trip got present truck. Brother and Brother in law both tow 5ers with 150s (5.4L engines, proper gearing and HD suspension. Both have over 30 years experience RVing. Brother now considering a F-250. Bottom line - F-150 with big V8 will tow a useful 5er but with limited reserve capacity. An F-250 set up for towing will give you more upsizing capacity and if your significant other may want a larger counter space consider a V-10.

2004 F-350 Supercab short box 4X4 PSD
2006 Nash 21-5R
51 Ford 8N and may more toys

Posted By: TXiceman on 08/11/07 09:00pm

Best to go ahead and get a 3/4 ton truck and don;t worry about it. The 1/2 tons will hit the limit on GVWR due to pin weight well before you hit your GCWR.

The towing rating are based on a base model truck, no cargo, not options, no hitch (150#) and only a 150# driver. For every pound you add over this base model, you reduce the towing capacity the same.

Remember that the true pin weight of a 5er will approach 20% of the trailers GVWR when loaded, so ignore the brochure data.

In addition, the 3/4 ton truck will have larger brakes, a heavier duty transmission, heavier duty axle, larger frame and heavier duty tires. You won't have to be adding air bags and helper springs to prop the rear of the truck up.


Amateur Radio Operator.
2013 HitchHiker 38RLRSB Champagne, toted with a 2012, F350, 6.7L PSD, Crewcab, dually. 3.73 axle, Full Time RVer.
Travel with a standard schnauzer and a Timneh African Gray parrot

Posted By: time2roll on 08/11/07 09:03pm

This is mine. Get the F150 with HD payload if you do not need a crew cab

2001 F150 SuperCrew
2006 Keystone Springdale 249FWBHLS
675w Solar pictures back up

Posted By: rconkin on 08/11/07 09:10pm

I have a 24' 5er that weighs about 7k loaded and originally was pulling it with a K1500 with 350 and manual transmission (fortunately it had a low "granny" gear that saved me starting out on some hills). I was worn out by the time we got to the campground or home and did not enjoy the trip at all. Sold that truck and bought a Dodge 2500 CTD. What a difference, I actually look forward to the trip there and home now. Definitely get more truck than you think you need and enjoy the trip.

12 Ram 3500 Longhorn Edition, CTD, DRW, 4X4, B&W Companion Hitch, Double R Diesel MM3 tunes, Deleted

16 KZ Durango 2500 D349BHQ

"For those that fought for it, Freedom has a flavor that the protected will never know!" Semper Fi

Posted By: Kenneth on 08/11/07 11:52pm

Here's the F-150 Towing Guide:

It says that you could tow a 5er with a max weight somewheres between 7700# & 11,000# depending on the equipment. It also says,
"Trailer king pin weight should be 15-25% of total loaded trailer weight. Make sure vehicle payload (reduced by option weight) will accommodate trailer king pin weight and weight of passengers and cargo added to towing vehicle. Addition of trailer king pin weight and weight of passengers and cargo must not cause vehicle weights to exceed rear GAWR or GVWR."

What sounds like weasel words in this footnote is the truth, not the puffed up tow rating. A 5th wheel trailer puts about twice the weight on the truck vs. a travel trailer of the same weight. You'll be most likely to max out the truck's GVWR before you reach that so-called Tow Rating.

I'm free of prostate cancer for 5 years now.
All men over age 50 should get an annual PSA blood test. Mine had a low reading, but the yearly jump was significant. The biopsy showed cancer just entering the aggressive stage. Dr. Hackenslash removed it.

Posted By: takeakidcamping on 08/12/07 08:23am

I have a 2006 f-150 5.4 supercrew and pull a 2004 flagstaff 28ft.with 1 slide.The 5th wheel weighs 7500lbs loaded and we do not pull in the mountains but we do go to the beach a lot and it pulls it okay,but this weight is all that the truck wants to pull.If I did not already have the truck when i bought the camper,i would go with a bigger truck.Good luck and take a kid camping when you can.

Posted By: dyb on 08/12/07 11:11am

You need to consider a 250 or 2500 super or heavy duty. I pulled my 5th wheel with both and my 250 is better. i also put 410 gear in my 250.

When i saide both i meant 150 and 250.

2005 F 250 5.4, 4.10 Gear, Tow/Haul, TorqShift Tranny 8ft. Box
Built in Break Controller
Super Duty super cab 158" wheel base
Eagle 320 rlds 2008
Raised Oct, 1988
Reese Dual Cam

Posted By: the_wood_turner on 08/12/07 12:33pm

One thing to consider about pulling with a 150 or 1500 is that you will be at or very near the MAX weight that it is rated for. Both in towing and in payload for your hitch weight. When you are that close to top end of the scale on the truck's rating, everything compounds. Greater stress on frame, suspension, axles, tires, etc. Not to pick on a friend, but he set a perfect example. We were doing work at his house and he went to local DIY center and loaded his f-150 with the max amount of cement bags that the truck was rated for. When pulling out of the store, he accidently hopped on 8" curb on the right. When the tire came down and the weight "crashed" onto the suspension, the front shackle of his rear spring fractured and he was dead on the side of the road. The truck was still under warrenty, but he had to pay for all repairs. Reason being, the cement = the trucks payload capacity, he forgot about himself and the other 2 passengers. Ford ruled that he over loaded the truck and therefore the warrenty didn't cover.

wife, 2 daughters, and a dog that thinks she runs the place
Cincinnati, OH
2007 Eagle 325 BHS
2006 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab 6.0 PSD

Posted By: djncas on 08/12/07 12:41pm

Forest River makes 5ers just for 1/2 tons check out their site

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.

Carl and "D"
Handson Harlee, 7mth old Saint Bernard(Service Dog)

In memory of Drago Rotty Service Dog
05/12/98 11/05/08

2007 4x4 Q Cab Hemi Ram 08 Keystone Hornet 26 RBS

Posted By: Cat320 on 08/12/07 01:33pm

Get the 5er first, then you will know for sure what size truck you need. Regardless of what trailer you get, unless it is very small, it will be too much for a half ton.

Posted By: ronschamingjr on 08/12/07 01:45pm

My 30-foot Forest River Rockwood 8281SS is supposedly half-ton rated. When I had a 1999 F-150, it took air bags to keep the headlights out of the tops of the trees. It performed poorly on all but level terrain.

Posted By: geeman53 on 08/12/07 02:08pm

Stay under 4K weight fiver ,then you will be ok.

2016 forest river sunseeker 2250 slec

Posted By: pizzaguy on 08/12/07 05:25pm

We are towing a Cougar 291RLS with 2 slides(about 9800# ) with our 2007 F150 Lariat 4WD with the 7200# payload group,3.73 rear end,and Firestone 5000# air bags.I would not go into the mountains towing this way, but most of our trips are within 200-500 miles and the truck handles this just fine.I am not saying that a F350 would not be better,but when the truck is used 90% of the time not towing the trailer I could not see spending the extra 10 grand for the F350 for our mainly weekend camping trips.Sure everyone will tell you that you can't do this but alot of people are pulling trailers like ours and bigger with no problems.Good luck with your decision and Happy Camping!

2017 Heartland Bighorn 3970RD
2017 Ford F350 DRW 4x4 Lariat
2013 Polaris Ranger
2 Silver Miniature Schnauzers
2012 Kubota Grand L3240

Print  |  Close